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Twentieth Anniversary of Cold-Blooded Murder PassesRobert O'Dowd Salem-News.com
Marine Corps Colonel’s murder reported as a suicide, but forensic evidence supports murder and a government cover-up.
(IRVINE, Calif.) - Twenty years ago this month, Colonel James Sabow, USMC, answered the telephone in his quarters at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California. “Hello, Colonel Sabow. This is Colonel Sabow.”
These were the last words that Sally Sabow heard her husband speak as she closed the front door of their home to attend an early morning weekday Mass in Santa Ana.
When she returned from church, she found the T.V. on mute, their dog in the garage and her husband dead on the patio in the backyard from what looked to be a self-inflected gunshot wound to the head.
The Marine Corps Inspector General flew into El Toro in January 1991, looking for answers to reports of unmarked civilian aircraft using the airfield.
Immediately upon arriving at El Toro, the IG went to Bldg. 53 and demanded a copy of the data processing file on the maintenance (refueling, etc.) of these aircraft. The file had been purged.
Both Colonel Joseph Underwood, Chief of Staff, and Colonel Sabow, Assistant Chief of Staff, were relieved of their duties by Brigadier General Tom Adams, Commanding General, MCAS El Toro, for some minor infraction of the rules and pressured to retire from the Marines.
Colonel Sabow refused to go quietly. He told senior Marine officers that he was not aware of the use of civilian aircraft to transport drugs into the U.S., but he would disclose all he knew about the unmarked civilian C-130s at courts martial.
The unmarked C-130's unloaded their drug cargo in the Marine Wing Support Group 37 area in the Southwest quadrant of the base in the early morning hours.
I know the area well. As a young Marine, I worked in one of the two huge maintenance hangars in MWSG-37. Even after 40 years, I still remember the distinctive sound of the C-130 turboprops keeping me awake in the early morning hours on duty watch in the hangar.
The killers who murdered the Colonel in his quarters at MCAS El Toro have not been brought to justice.
The Naval Investigative Service (NIS) ruled his death a suicide the same day of his death. The following day the Orange County civilian coroner’s death certificate was suicide, despite overwhelming evidence of foul play.
The forensic evidence supports that Colonel Sabow was clubbed to death before a shotgun was put into his mouth and fired by his killers, according to many independent experts said Dr. David Sabow, his younger brother and a retired neurologist.
No suicide note was left. His finger prints were not on the shogun or spent shell casing. Blood filled one lung. A skull fracture behind the right ear. However, a shotgun blast in the mouth destroys the brain stem and the ability to breath.
According to independent forensic experts, the autopsy results, skull x-rays and crime scene evidence shows that the Colonel’s death was sudden but not instantaneous.
These non-government experts report that the initial trauma was a fatal blow to the back of the head causing a depressed skull fracture behind the right ear. The blow to the head was done by one or more persons. As the Colonel’s body lay on the ground, a 12 gauge shotgun was placed in his mouth and fired by the killers.
For twenty years, Dr. David Sabow, his younger brother, has pursued an independent investigation of his brother’s death. There have been no indictments or interests from any U.S. Attorney.
According to Dr. Sabow’s investigations, three men dressed in civilian clothes walked onto the crime scene, got into an argument with the NIS agent in charge, flashed some credentials, and ordered everyone away from the crime scene, literally across the street. Unknown to them, one of the NIS agents remained behind, hidden from view and watched as these men “cleaned-up the murder scene,” including removing a blunt object from the grass.
The official NIS report makes no mention of this encounter.
Were the killers part of an anti-terrorism team of psychopaths who were ordered to kill Colonel Sabow, a decorated Marine Corps Vietnam fighter pilot with 221 combat missions, to prevent him from disclosing the truth about flights of deadly cargo of drugs into El Toro?
Large shipments of cocaine into the U.S. fueled the crack epidemic in the 80s and 90s. The black community in major urban centers like Los Angeles, New York and Philly suffered greatly from addition to crack.
If there’s a fair hearing of the evidence and a reversal of the Orange County coroner’s death certificate to homicide, look for indictments by the U.S. Attorney. There’s no statute of limitation on murder.
If this cold case gets to a Federal grand jury, the killers can expect to be indicted, tried and convicted of murder in short order. Those who ordered the killing won’t escape either. This could be a very long list. You don’t have to pull the trigger to be charged and convicted of murder.
The following was written by Tim King and Luke Easter, Marine veterans and expresses, the feelings that many Marines have about the murder of Colonel Sabow.
An Ode to Colonel James Sabow, USMC
Murder is without a doubt a very extreme, coldhearted, cowardly deed,
General David Shuter stated at his eulogy a man, “without compromise,”
Forensic evidence supports murder of this brave officer in the year 1991,
Shootings have their own distinct characteristics & this one is not immune,
Really? There is proof of cocaine being smuggled on former military ships?
Many subsequent independent experts have concluded, assured foul play,
And restore the good colonel’s honor rightly deserved & patriotically earned,
This brother-friend of the hero is now in failing health but he does not care,
Hard to imagine weapons-& drug-smuggling activities at a U.S. military base,
The biggest question, why in the hell would this proud father of two take his life?
How many crooked hands high above yours were immersed in the illegal pie,
Personally, I’m surprised at the incompetence & excuses by the NCIS of the Navy,
Rest assured beyond are deepest thought the Creator has many, many reasons,
by Luke Easter & Tim King
The Website for Col. James Sabow: colonelsabow.com
Past reports on the life and death of James Sabow:
Bob O’Dowd is a former U.S. Marine with thirty years of experience on the east coast as an auditor, accountant, and financial manager with the Federal government. Half of that time was spent with the Defense Logistics Agency in Philadelphia. Originally from Pennsylvania, he enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 19, served in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings in 52 months of active duty in the 1960s. A graduate of Temple University, Bob has been married to Grace for 31 years. He is the father of two adult children and the grandfather of two boys. Bob has a blog site on former MCAS El Toro at mwsg37.com. This subject is where Bob intersected with Salem-News.com. Bob served in the exact same Marine Aviation Squadron that Salem-News founder Tim King served in, twenty years earlier. With their combined on-site knowledge and research ability, Bob and Tim and a handful of other ex-Marines, have put the contamination of MCAS El Toro on the map. The base is highly contaminated with TCE, trichloroethelyne
You can email Bob O’Dowd, Salem-News.com Environmental and Military Reporter, at this address: email@example.com
Luke Easter is a poet who writes about things that are very close to the heart of Salem-News.com. Another former U.S. Marine, Luke heals the world with an approach that reaches people on a different level, one known for centuries, yet too often forgotten in the one we live in.
We live in a world of social & economic injustice. The main reason for founding America in the first place was to relieve the oppression of the King of England. Patrick Henry said it best, “give me liberty or give me death.” And yet, all too often death seems to be the only way out. Why is there such a high suicide rate especially among teens, in the land of the free & the home of the brave? What makes headlines? Good news? Ha! More depressing stories than anything else. I feel poetry takes an edge off the hurt of bad news while still delivering it but in a, “glitzy” sort of way. Giving a different perspective. Kind of like slap in the face as opposed to a knife in the back. At least with the slap you’ll live to see another day and you will know whom it’s from. I wasn’t here for the beginning of the world but at 59, I just might be here for the end. Even though it’s still a knife, rhyme poetry helps to dull the blade. And that’s my job. You can write to Luke Easter at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.
Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: email@example.com
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